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John Locke

CRITICAL ENTHUSIASM: CAPITAL ACCUMULATION AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF RELIGIOUS PASSION

 Jordana Rosenberg
Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion
Oxford University Press, April 2011

The Atlantic world of the long eighteenth century was characterized by two major, interrelated phenomena: the onset of capital accumulation and the infusion of traditions of radical religious rapture into Enlightenment discourses. In exploring these cross-pollinations, Critical Enthusiasm shows that debates around religious radicalism are bound to the advent of capitalism at its very root: as legal precedent, as financial rhetoric, and as aesthetic form. To understand the period thus requires that we not only contextualize histories of religion in terms of the economic landscape of early modernity, but also recast the question of secularization in terms of the contradictions of capitalism.

Critical Enthusiasm contributes to new directions of scholarship in literary and legal history, secularization studies, and economic criticism. It is unique in producing a model for literary and cultural study that is simultaneously attuned to economic and religious forces. By approaching the history of capitalism through religious debates, Critical Enthusiasm discloses significant intersections of aesthetic form and of financial flows that have been hitherto ignored.

Through chapters that highlight moral philosophy, religious prophesy, early modern statute law, poetry, and political theory, Rosenbergshows that the contested nature of enthusiastic rapture is crucial to understanding the major institutional transformations of early modernity. These transformations–colonial plunder, the rise of finance, the administration of racialized labor, and the legal reform that justified such practices–shaped the period; they also laid the foundation for our contemporary world.

See: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/HistoryofChristianity/ReformationCounterReformation/?view=usa&ci=9780199764266

Jordana Rosenberg is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Revolt

REPETITION AND REVOLT

The Theory Reading Group at Cornell University invites submissions for its seventh annual interdisciplinary spring conference:

Repetition and Revolt

Featuring keynote speaker Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto)

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
April 14-16, 2011

Wavering between the occurrence of the novel and the recurrence of the routine, the concept of revolution often divides along a line suggested by its etymology.  Thus, even as Copernicus upset the world system of his time, he did so by describing an orbit, a stable circle.  Put simply, this legacy reminds us that every proposed overturning might yield nothing more than a mere return, a tendency that threatens to undermine radical upheavals in domains ranging from the political to the aesthetic to the scientific.  As Robert Frost suggests, it may well be in the nature of “total revolution” to put “the same class up on top.”

This critical ambiguity can emerge whenever we attempt to account for the possibility of change or difference.  Does this division reveal something essential about revolution, or does it indicate a fault in the ways in which we think about revolution?  In what ways has contemporary thought attempted to reckon with or reconcile the competing meanings of this term?  How do philosophical and theoretical discourses account for change and difference, not only in the realms of politics, literature, art, and science, but also within philosophy and theory themselves?  What forms of critique, resistance, or action can we find in contemporary thought, and what do these forms disclose about the potential or limits of the concept of revolution?

Suggested topics:

* Paradigm shifts and epistemic breaks

* Theories of literary innovation

* Copernican revolution or Ptolemaic counterrevolution

* Theories of the event

* Aesthetics and politics

* The figure of the genius

* Repetition and difference

* Revolution and globalization

* The finite and the infinite

* Secularization, the post-secular, the new atheism

* The future of critique

* Collapse, catastrophe, and crisis

* Evolution and Darwinism

* Eternal return

* Utopia and dystopia

* Revolutionary violence and messianism

* Law and exception

* Theories of transgression

* Ruptures critical and diacritical

* Revolutions in media/social mediation

* Turns: political, linguistic, ethical, (anti)social, comic

Please limit the length of abstracts to no more than 250 words.

The deadline for submission of 250-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations is February 15, 2011.

Please include your name, e-mail address, and phone number.  Abstracts should be e-mailed to repetitionrevolt@gmail.com

Notices of acceptance will be sent no later than February 25, 2011.

For more information about the Cornell Theory Reading Group, visit: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/trg  

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com